Common Network Vulnerabilities to Be Aware of

There’s no getting around it, that in this modern age of interconnectivity businesses are faced with unprecedented challenges to the integrity of their networks and intra-office communications.  

None more so than businesses who deal with network logistics, or massive amounts of client personal data, including credit card information, biographical information and other sensitive data. So what are the most common factors that influence network vulnerability?

The 3 most common types of network vulnerabilities

At their most basic level, businesses are exposed to all sorts of network challenges and vulnerabilities based on the following 3 factors: hardware-based, software-based, and human-based vulnerabilities.

Just about all of the resulting issues that a business network could face, almost all of them can be traced back to those three base elements. Now, we’ll explore them some more.

What are “hardware-based” issues and how can you prevent them?

Hardware-based network issues could stem from faulty, outdated, or incorrectly used drives, data recorders, routers, network connection points – you get the idea.  More often than not, cybersecurity attacks have been able to take place at the “point of entry” as it were and this means that it’s more important than ever before to ensure the integrity of your hardware.  

This covers all bases from adequate cooling in your server rooms to properly managed and recorded access control for areas that house sensitive data systems.

Prevention is always better than cure, so ensuring that your I.C.T teams are on the ball by conducting regular audits and hardware reviews which place checking for obsoletion as their core responsibilities, is crucial. Investing in your hardware systems is investing in your business and there can be absolutely no shortcuts.

What are “software-based” issues and how can you prevent them?

No one needs to be told how important this is anymore, and yet every year, businesses from corner shops to global monoliths, and massive government systems have been hacked.  

Some of the most common threats to your businesses software issues are often:

Malware and “ransomware” 

These little bugs come in various forms, but share one common characteristic: they install themselves on your system and most of the time you won’t even know about it until it’s too late. 

Keep your junk mail filter on its toughest settings, make sure that your antivirus/spam/malware software is constantly up to date, and if you don’t have one yet, consider appointing managed IT services to help you set one up.

Viruses and “Spyware” 

These make up the most common contenders and all of these can be prevented by keeping your IT governance procedures up to date and by conducting regular, industry supervised audits of your systems.

What about “human-based” errors?

As the name suggests, you can never truly be free of the human factor, and whether it’s intentional or otherwise, this will always be a strong consideration.  As several high profile cases recently will show, human beings can sometimes play critical roles in “whistleblowing” and while that may well be virtuous when it’s warranted, we can never really know what one person may find as virtuous, or another as pure malice. 

The global data business trade is raising a signal, and you need to know about this too. Securing access control, establishing stringent policies which handle how information is stored and shared, which employees have access to what, and so on, is a good start – but none of the systems mentioned here today can work without effective leadership.

As the business owner or department manager, the buck stops with you. There is no time to waste.